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Archive for March, 2009

As we look to the future of health care in the United States, we need to consider our past history.  We “baby boomers” have worked hard and now want “our due”.  Our parents have or are still benefiting from Social Security and Medicare.  Now it’s our turn.  But how have we “managed” the health care of our families during our lives?

We have managed to eliminate large costs in some families by aborting our children due to inconvenience or “not having enough money” to provide for their well-being.  Approximately 49,000,000 children have been aborted since 1973 according to the National Right to Life organization.  This action saved us untold billions over the past 36 years.  Unfortunately, every action has a reaction.  I do not think the magnitude of the consequences of this action ever crossed our minds.

Now, we face the near future of either Social Security and Medicare going bankrupt in the next few years, millions with no health insurance at all, or going to a universal health care plan for our country.  President Obama is stressing the need for universal health care.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has plans to push through a health care proposal that would require only 20 hours of debate and a simple 50-vote majority to pass.  The catch is (1) it is astronomically expensive and (2) it will limit the access to health care that we presently have.  There is no way around this dilemma.   We cannot continue to receive the health care coverage we have become accustomed to when this cost is transferred to our government.

So, I come back to my post’s title.  We did not have the money to care for the 49 million children when they most needed our love and support.  Now, we who are aging and becoming more dependent find ourselves in a similar position.  Where will the money come from to take care of us? 

God does not overlook our sin just because it was inconvenient to do what was right.  In Psalm 106Proverbs 6, and Jeremiah 7, He says what He thinks about those who shed innocent blood.  Hosea 8:7 states, “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind”. Our selfishness in denying our children their lives means they are not here to support our economy, Social Security, Medicare, etc.  We will “reap” a much greater monetary disaster in our future due to this. 

Our country will “pay” for our children who are no longer with us one way or the other, and we “boomers” will receive the care we deserve, whether we like it or not.

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The Sabbath was a day of rest instituted by God to continually remind His people about Him.  By taking a whole day to totally stop what you’re usually doing and focus on God is much more impactful than just taking an hour out to go to church on Sunday.  God wanted them to always be mindful of who He was and what He had done for them.  He gave them six day of the week to do their own thing, but the Sabbath was His.  A constant reminder of His provision and protection.

As the Israelites became consumed with other things on the Sabbath, they eventually began ignoring God.  Oh, they still “practiced” the Sabbath rituals, but their hearts were far from the activities.  They had a “form” of religion, but denied its power (2 Timothy 3:5).    This caused them to drift into idol worship and away from the true God of the universe. 

We today as gentile believers have done our own “drifting”.   We may go to church on Sunday, but it may be more for “form” than for “substance”.  Our afternoons and evenings are planned with activities that rarely give a thought to God and His wonderful provisions for us.  As the Israelites became unbelieving and ungrateful, so has today’s Church.  We acknowledge the “form”, but “deny the power” of God in our lives or in the world today.  Ours is so often a mere formality with no true heart belief.  No wonder we have lost the awe of God in our lives.

God wants to be remembered.  He wants us to remember that He is the one who gave us life, the ability to work and provide for our families.  He gives us wisdom, health, healing, and protection.  Most importantly, He wants to be remembered for giving us eternal life through belief in His son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus said “My Father is always working and so am I” (John 5:17).  It seems the only day God took off was the seventh day of creation.  Looks like He’s been busy ever since.  Perhaps now would be a good time to step back and pick a day to honor Him each week for what He has done and is continuing to do for us.  May God grant us the ability to return to the meaning of the Sabbath.

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I just received an email with a hilarious video from YouTube about daddies changing their babies’ diapers.  Thinking about this later on, I realized that I have a wonderful Daddy who still cleans up my messes, no matter how big and stinky they are.  He still looks at me with eyes of love regardless of whether I’m covered in “it” or not.  As I depend upon Him, He is always there to wash me up, get rid of the dirt and “stuff”, and make me as good as new.  I owe so much to Him, but so seldom show my appreciation as I should.

You have a Daddy like that out there, too.  He’s waiting for you to bring Him your messes.  Just give them to Him and He’ll put them in the “great diaper pail in the sky”, clean you all up, and give you a fresh new start.  He’s “gloved” and waiting.  Aren’t you ready to get out of those stinky diapers?

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Jesus asked a paralyzed man a curious question.  “Would you like to get well?” (John 5:6)  Sounds like a pretty crazy question, actually a stupid question.  Of course, idiot, who wouldn’t want to be healthy. 

Now let’s bring it into today, to your life now where it counts.  You have a lot of emotional baggage.  Hurts and pain from the past of words spoken to you, actions taken against you, bad decisions you’ve made.  All these things gnawing at you day by awfully long day.  You’ve heard there is someone who can help you, but you really don’t know much about him.  Some people think he’s great, some think he’s a charlatan.  None the less, he offers you hope. 

But there’s an even bigger problem than trusting him.  Can you handle the change?  You’ve had these feelings for so long.  You’ve managed to deal with them and hide them somewhat effectively.  Well, except for the sudden outbursts of anger that appear from nowhere against your family and friends.  Your inability to really get close to people has actually protected you, hasn’t it?  And who wants to appear weak, especially in front of their Christian friends who tell you “just put it all behind you” like Paul did and “run the race” (Philippians 3:13-14).  What Paul put behind him was his accomplishments, not his emotional pain (Philippians 3:4-7).  Paul let go of his achievements, but he gave his pain to Jesus. 

When we give our pain to Jesus, its not necessarily a painless process.  Often we’ve hidden it down deep within and must dig it back up to be able to present it to Him.  A lot of people don’t want to go through this process.  They would rather suffer with the “known” instead of risk facing the “unknown”.  Like the demonized man of Gerasenes, who lived in the caves, roaming around cutting himself (Luke 8:26-36) , somehow we believe Jesus will torment us and not deliver us.  Like, we’re not in torment already?  Jesus came to set us free.  Free to love.  Free to have joy and peace.  Free from guilt and shame.  He offers all of this to anyone who is willing.  Are you willing to give your pain and hurt to Jesus?  Would you like to get well?

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I love reading my New Living Translation of the Bible, but it has a unique little quirk to it.  It shows some verses found in a few translations as footnotes.  Such is the case with John 5:3-5:

3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.[a] 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.

Footnotes:

  1. John 5:3 Some manuscripts add an expanded conclusion to verse 3 and all of verse 4: waiting for a certain movement of the water, 4for an angel of the Lord came from time to time and stirred up the water. And the first person to step in after the water was stirred was healed of whatever disease he had.

Perhaps verse 4 was added later to the manuscripts to explain why all these people were at the pool of Bethesda.

Have you ever wanted people to read the footnotes of your life instead of what they just see?  The whys and wherefores of the decisions you’ve made.  “Why in the world would she feel that way about what was said?”  “How could she have done that?”  If only they could read the footnotes.  Then they would see the things that had happened to you in the past to cause you to think and receive input from others the way you do.  I understand why the man was at the pool now.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t make much sense to hang out with a lot of other sick people.  Why not just stay home?  Well, there was no hope at home.  Nothing there could make him well.  At least, at the pool he had a chance. 

How close to the water had he gotten in these 38 years?  Right next to the water, but never close enough to be healed.  How many people are in churches today, sitting right next to someone who was healed of this or that disease or illness, yet they are still suffering after all these years.  And what is their suffering?  Paralyzed by fear, loss of all hope, tormenting illness or pain, unrelenting grief over guilt or loss of a loved one, remorse or regret.  They come week after week, yet no relief is found.  Still there is that small glimmer of hope.  Hope that someday, somehow, relief and deliverance will come. 

One day Jesus did come for this man.  And instead of the man seeking out Jesus, Jesus sought out him.  Jesus seeks us out to save and deliver us from ourselves.  As the man looked to himself and the others around him to get him into the water, he found that man’s help is sporadic and erratic at best.  It got him to the water, but not in the water.  But now the water has come to him.  Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus comes to us?  We don’t have to go searching for Him in our own strength or rely on the spiritual strength of others.  Yes, the Living Water is standing by.  Jump in, the water’s great.

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